The illusion of happiness

‘Happiness is an illusion..’

So my Dad said the other day. That gave me something to ponder on.

The pursuit of happiness is something I’ve spent a lot of time and energy on and made some big decisions based on my perception of happiness as I dare say have lots of other people.

My pondering led me to conclude that happiness isn’t some magical thing that some people are lucky to have and others don’t. It’s about accepting what life brings, that’s it is hard and if you’re lucky contains moments of joy. Once you accept that and embrace it perhaps that’s where the joy is at. I’m not saying it’s about accepting everything but more the things that cannot be changed.

I’ve put serious amounts of energy into fighting things that just are, such as ill health or a job or a relationship that might not be going as I’d like it to. (That feels pretty futile now as I write that down).

I was listening to a podcast earlier and there was a quote that said:

‘If you let go a little, you’ll have a little peace. If you let go a lot, you’ll have a lot of peace. If you let go completely, you’ll have complete peace..’

I imagine that ‘letting go’ takes on a lot of shapes for different people. For me it’s about stopping fighting and to accept the things that I cannot change. I lost my colon and have an ileostomy. I cannot change that but I can accept it and I do. I can go even further than that. I can love the life it’s given me and be grateful for the care and medical treatment I’ve received that’s enabled me to be well.

I’ve come to realise that I spend a fair amount of time in the fight and when I reflect on it it’s quite exhausting! It was pretty much a day to day, even moment to moment mind set for me. I’ve been trying to do something about that and perhaps I’ll write more another day. For now, just the acceptance, the letting go, not trying to control all aspects of my life and the people in it is a good place to be.

I wrote before that I was good in my skin and I was. Just now I really am on the path to truly being good in my skin, because I’m finally starting to understand what that actually means. Learning to love myself and to be happy with myself so that the things that happen around me, whilst may make me happy or sad for a time, will not change the inner peace I have reached for myself. I suspect that’s a bit utopian, but what a place to be aiming for..

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